Love is an open door.

Love should take no hostages!

If you hold on to tightly to something, maybe you choke the life out of them. People should be able to come and go freely from a place of love, not held back by misplaced obligations but by a resolute choice to stay.

The door should remain open while the place holds all the benefits to encourage one to stay. Encourage not force or manipulate. What happens when the loved walks away anyway? What happens when we walk away anyway and in so much pain decide to stay away.

I came across the Christiansen Family series by Susan May Warren last week, still reading through the six. (I’m just on the third). I may be coming to the party a little late but good books are timeless.

The first book in the series ‘Take a chance on me’ set this blog idea in motion. It was furthered by a conversation with a friend on being mad at God. Pretty bold, do you think? Especially when the clay can’t say to the potter, ‘why did you do this’. I find it refreshingly honest!

Time and time again, we may find ourselves in that place, just mad. This is mostly a follow up to the post When your faith takes a beating. And I think that’s what drew me most to the book. It starts off with a letter from the mother in the prologue, a little foretelling into the challenge the protagonist would face.

The mother, Ingrid, documents how crushed she is to see the child walk away from the faith. But I now know that as hard as it is to see a loved one walk away from the faith, it is extremely more pressing, soul-suffocating to do the walking away.

One line that struck quite the chord in the letter was ‘ Perhaps that is what unsettled me the most, because without questioning, I wondered how there could be true understanding.‘ I had explored this thought a little in When in doubt. What do you do when you doubt what you have believed so completely and wrapped your identity in? What happens when it starts to fall apart all around you?

We need to ask the questions, as we so often do. Maybe we caught up asking the wrong questions. And then you may ask what should the right questions be? I don’t know. But we also need to accept that we may never get the answers this side of heaven. Or maybe view it like Pastor Steven Furtick said, in the absence of answers, faith is built.

If we are at our lowest and farthest, we can all see some resemblance with the prodigal son. We see everything falling apart because of our rash plans to walk away and still pride keeps us away. As though we truly have something to prove. Or worse, as though we are ashamed to walk back. As though He is waiting to point out our rash departure. Wouldn’t it also qualify as a walk of shame especially if we walked off and gave the impression our return was impossible?

Maybe the prodigal son didn’t have to wait till he was eating with pigs to decide to come home. Maybe we don’t have to wait till we can’t tell who we truly are to make the grand return. Yes, the pain is real. Yes, your emotions are real. Take the time to deal with it – just don’t stay away too long.

All pictures taken from Unsplash.